Travel agencies are also good sources for budget airfare, especially travel agencies specializing in the destination country. Ms. Frommer told a story of purchasing tickets to Japan with a travel agency specializing in travel to Japan, and they knew of an airline giving a large discount for tickets purchased with a MasterCard, saving her family hundreds of dollars. She also urged following airlines on Twitter, as the current trend is for airlines to offer flash sales via Twitter that only last for a few hours.
The most important tip for saving money when cruising? Do not book excursions through the cruise company. This is where you will throw away money. An excursion to a waterfall might cost $40-$60 through the cruise company, while you can get to that same waterfall and join the same guided tour for the cost of $1.50 bus ride each way. If you do want to book an excursion rather than self-touring, use websites such as CruisingExcursions.com, ShoreTrips.com, and Viator.com, which offer excursions at lower prices than the cruise companies and with smaller groups.
Frommer’s New Look
Last year’s news was that nine months after the Frommer’s brand was sold to Google, Arthur Frommer purchased back the brand after it was reported Google would no longer be printing the Frommer’s travel books. While Frommer’s is a household name, Frommer’s has now become a startup company once again. This is why there is currently a shortage of Frommer’s books on the bookstore shelves. Frommer’s is getting back into the guidebook game with their new series of Frommer’s EasyGuides. These guides focus on sharing the best sites and experiences rather than listing every possible site, restaurant and hotel, resulting in a much thinner book. However, there have been complaints by travelers who, like me, prefer to peruse those thick guidebooks, so they will be releasing more comprehensive guidebooks in addition to the new EasyGuide series.
I am a lover of all books, but especially travel books and guides, so it was a thrill to sit in the middle of a standing room only crowd listening to Pauline Frommer speak at Warwick’s, the country’s oldest family-owned and operated bookstore, and know that the Frommer’s guidebooks would be returning to my guidebook rotation. But it was also a treat to learn from this seasoned traveler so many tips and tricks to finding the best travel deals that will help make travel more affordable for us all.